How To Step 2

HOW TO…(now complete with a ‘Run Away From Your Death Flags’ version!)

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Step 2: Meeting your family (and your Death?)

“Are you sure you’re okay, Ojou-sama?” Edna fluttered around me as she wrung her hands worriedly. I resisted the urge to sigh before giving her a wry smile.

“Edna,” I began calmly, even as some pesky butterflies revolted in my stomach. “That’s the fourth time you’ve asked me that. Don’t worry, I feel completely fine.”

Which…was kind of a lie. I was technically feeling quite jittery instead of ‘fine’, because, wow. It was going to be my first time meeting with my siblings after I got my…past…memories back. And even after a whole week of me seriously pondering, I still wasn’t sure as to how to tackle my problem of my ever pending doom.

On one hand, sure, I remembered the plans of the fictitious girls who were in my situation once. However, their solutions couldn’t really be applied to my problem. After all, though some of those protagonists resolved to make sure that the capture targets had no reason to get attached to the heroine (aka, solve all their problems themselves), well, this was 『Sutekina Nise No Genjitsu』! In this otome game, the capture targets fell in love with the heroine slowly and steadily over the span of a couple years, and nothing Lettice did ruined their love.

On the other hand, some of the protagonists just minimized the interactions between them and the capture target, but…

Two of the capture targets were my darling brothers who I lived together with! How could I not interact with them? Argh!

“Ojou-sama?” Edna stood awkwardly at the door as she waited for me to stop mentally ranting. I immediately gave her a bright smile, in hopes of finally dispelling that worried tone in her voice.

“I’m truly fine, Edna,” I reassured her before walking out. Like a splendid robot, Edna obediently shut her mouth before following quietly behind me.


The moment I walked into the dining room, a blur of light blue smacked right into me. I ruthlessly squashed down the urge to run away, even as I gently hugged back the child clinging onto me.

“Quinn!” Father scolded my younger brother, though it was in a light tone. “Let go of your older sister, she just recovered!”

The fists on my dress tightened momentarily before they released me. As if extremely reluctant, Quinn gave me a worried pout before he slowly stepped away.

“Is Onee-chan better now?” My younger brother asked me quietly, his pretty cerulean eyes roaming over my face. Whatever he saw probably displeased him, because the furrows between his eyebrows immediately deepened.

“I’m fine,” I started, my tone exasperated. Why did nobody believe my words? First it was Edna, now it was Quinn…

“Lettice!” Both my big brother and my big sister walked over, relief clear on their faces. Like Quinn, they hadn’t been allowed to see me when I was sick, though I often heard their voices as they argued with the guard stationed behind my door.

“Are you still tired?” Raimond asked with genuine concern after he raked his dark blue eyes over my thin figure. “You look very pale.”

All of my siblings sported pretty blue hair and pretty blue eyes, albeit in different shades. They were the ones who took after Father, at least in the hair department. On the other hand, only I took after our deceased mother, with silver hair tinted in light green. My eyes matched Quinn’s though, and were also a pretty cerulean blue.

“I’m fine,” I reassured them with the brightest smile I could muster. “Really.”

None of my siblings looked like they believed me. Thankfully, Father probably saw my discomfort because he took pity on me and called all of us over to the dinner table.

Unlike my siblings, Father had been given the ‘okay’ to approach me during the week I spent cooped up in my room. He was a good father, and he spent most of his time with me…and his paperwork. After seeing the mountain of paperwork my father dragged into my room, I almost felt glad that it was my brothers who were expected to become Prime Minister…

“How do you two like the Academy?” Father started off the evening discussion as he gazed keenly at the twins. “Lettice will be starting there soon, and Quinn as well. I’m sure they are interested.”

My two older siblings glanced at each other before they both shrugged. It was Lyna, my sister, who decided to speak up.

“Quite boring,” she said with a sigh. “The lessons are decent but the people there are not.”

“Oh?” Father raised an eyebrow. I also looked up in light surprise.

“Yeah,” Raimond agreed as he stared at his plate. “Some of the nobles make fun of the commoners, and when those commoners score higher than them, they become worse. It’s disgusting.”

I stared at my brother as he spat out those dark words, and for a second, I doubted. After all, ‘Raimond only killed his little sister by mistake’ … that had all been general conjecture created by fans, though that theory had been the most popular. Still…all those times he killed Lettice in the canon plot, were they really an accident? There was no doubt that Raimond hated the people who preyed on the less fortunate, and for Lettice to become one of those people, and for her to prey on Raimond’s darling heroine…

It was one thing for Quinn to kill me. Quinn’s mental state by the end of the game was extremely fragile, regardless of the heroine’s attempts to steady him. And that mental state was a result of Lettice anyway. But for Raimond to kill me, if it hadn’t been an accident…

Cold sweat covered my back. Raimond had seriously wanted to kill canon Lettice. All of those accidents were carefully calculated, and—

“Onee-chan?” Quinn’s worried voice cut through the silence left by Raimond as everyone immediately looked up. “What happened? Your face turned white.”

Biting my lip, I abruptly stood up. “Sorry Quinn, Onii-sama, Onee-sama, Father. I feel kind of tired…”

I guess I really looked pale because even Father looked alarmed as he quickly stood up. “You should lie down, Lettice. I’ll go and call over the doctor…”

I would have felt bad if I hadn’t felt like I wanted to throw up. Our peaceful dinner was thrown into chaos as Edna supported me back to my room while my siblings fluttered around me nervously. By the time I finally got back to my bed, the list of the ways Lettice died had already run through my head twice.

Strangled to death, slit wrists and major arteries, frantic stabs, sword through the heart, slit throat, drowning, pushed off of a roof…

After that, I couldn’t look either of my brothers in the eye that day.

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How To Step 1

HOW TO…(now complete with a ‘Run Away From Your Death Flags’ version!)

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Step 1: Triggering your Past Memories (while being extremely, extremely sick)

It was a good thing that I was sick. My siblings were forbidden to visit me as whatever I was infected with seemed to be contagious for people who had not been afflicted with it before. Thus, only Edna and the doctor were allowed to stay in my room.

However, the doctor only came in the morning to give me my daily check-up. Edna was the one who nursed me twenty-four seven, though that was not as big of a setback as I had originally thought. After all, I could easily ask Edna to leave me alone if I had wished it.

With this arrangement, I had the time to slowly sort out my thoughts. And even with my headache, after five days, I had a…somewhat…clear understanding of what had happened.

One, I was either in a coma (unlikely since everything felt so real) or dead. Probably dead.

Two, apparently those fanfictions and light novels I used to read were not just fiction. Especially those ‘reincarnating into an otome game’ ones. Because, ah…

My new…current (?) name was Lettice de Lief, from the House of Lief. Even in my old world, I had known that name. After all, she was one of the most controversial and debated characters of 『Sutekina Nise No Genjitsu』or ‘Lovely Fake Reality’. A free-ware otome game that came out last year, it quickly topped the charts of the most downloaded game in various sites. Eh, why was it so famous? Well, that’s because it was quite different from the usual run-of-the-mill otome games!

After all, although the basic plot of ‘lowly noble girl A meets harem of hot ikeman guys in a magical school’ stayed the same, SNG stood out with its execution. The magic school in the game was one of those ‘elevator brand names’, where you begin attending at age eleven and graduate when you were eighteen. Quite alike to a certain famous wizard series, to be honest. Anyway, this meant that one’s journey to woo a capture target…started at age eleven.

Well, actually, no. I probably worded that wrong. The Heroine of the game does meet her harem members at eleven, but they start off as mere acquaintances. There were no easy or cliché ‘events’ where one of the capture targets just happened onto the Heroine or something like that. If the Heroine wanted to get close to a capture target, they had to do it the old-fashioned way: by becoming friends.

Maybe that was why the game was so popular? Much like its name, it was an otome game with scenes depicted close to reality. Even if you had wanted capture target A, who was your best friend since age eleven, it was possible for him to friendzone you. Bagging your first love as your boyfriend when you were fifteen didn’t mean that your relationship would last till the end of the game, and it was possible to become lovers with another capture target instead. In any case, this super long game was impossible to predict, especially since some of the ‘events’ happened randomly! Even walkthroughs didn’t help much, with the sheer length of the game…Truly a slow-burn!

Ah, let us get back to the main point. Anyway, Lettice de Lief was a hot topic for all the fans of the game, and no, she wasn’t the Heroine or even the kingdom’s Princess. Lettice was a stalking horse, or a love rival! And she wasn’t just any love rival, she was the only villainous one too!

Well, I said villainous, but she really doesn’t do things that were too crazy. Sure, she gave the Heroine glares throughout the game, and sure she had tried to thwart the Heroine’s steady attempts at becoming closer to the capture target, but Lettice had never tried hurting her. In the realm of otome games, Lettice was an extremely tame villainess.

However, Lettice’s ending wasn’t that tame. After all, in every single ending (every bad ending, every good ending, even in the friendship ending!) Lettice was killed by the capture target of the route.

Uwaaa…just thinking about it made my stomach hurt…

Anyway, the main reason Lettice was the main villainess was because of her close proximity to every capture target. Capture Target One, the one usually all the girls would go for first, was Lettice’s fiancé and the resident Prince Charming. No, really, he was the Crown Prince of the Kingdom. With golden hair and kind sky blue eyes, it was as if he had come directly out of a fairy-tale (cliché, right?). His pretty hair was dyed red when he killed Lettice though, and he forever severed the bonds between his best friends and his sister after the deed…

Capture Target Two was Lettice’s own older brother, Raimond. He was an extremely dotting older brother and an overprotective one too…I believe that in all of his endings, he killed Lettice by accident. It was still by his hand, though…

Capture Target Three was Lettice’s one year younger brother, Quinn. According to the friend I had who played his route, Quinn had a sister complex for Lettice and after he killed her, he went slightly insane…

Ah, this was all terrible. I really want to give the production team of the otome game a good slap.

But Lettice’s deaths had reasoning behind it. Apparently, this game had an emphasis on the grey world between the realms of black and white. Thus, even if it was a good ending, Lettice died and caused some complications and sadness. If it was a bad ending, however, the main Heroine was not the one who received the final judgment. This was why everyone began to feel sorry for poor Lettice, and why that petition ‘Save Lettice!’ was made. But then again, I hadn’t felt much for Lettice personally, although it may just be because I never got to an ending.

In my previous life, like always, I got caught up in the excitement. Hence, I had downloaded the otome game and tried it out, but, well, I only played it for a week and a half or so. I deleted the game after my winter break was over so I would focus on my studies. Anyway, any knowledge of the game I had came from that one week of playing (in which I didn’t even get through the first week of the first year) and from the wikis and my friends.

Ahh…I was kind of regretting it now…Why didn’t I go through at least one route? My in-depth school knowledge about chemistry or biology or calculus won’t really help me now…!

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How To Step 0

HOW TO…(now complete with a ‘Run Away From Your Death Flags’ version!)

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Step 0: Finding Your Used Ticket To Hell (aka, realizing that you’re dead)

The first thought I had after waking up in my stifling hot bed was:

“Did I hand in my English Paper yet?”

After being swamped with university work, I uncharacteristically ran out of time to write one of my essays. Usually, I was really good at making sure I finished all my work in an organized manner but I had been caught off-guard at how different university was compared to high school. Thus, with no other choice, I toughened up and pulled an all-nighter just to finish that stupid paper…

“Ojou-sama!” A young teenager girl cried out tearfully beside my bed. “You’re finally awake!”


Yeah, no. I probably never got the chance to hand in my essay. Such a pity, though it was interesting (and slightly depressing) to see that this was my first worry after going belly-up.

“Stay here, Ojou-sama!” My personal attendant Edna all but leapt off her seat as she scurried to the door. “I will bring the doctor!”


Huh. This was weird. On one hand, I clearly still remembered who I was. Youngest daughter of the Kingdom’s Prime Minister, at ten years old I was the second youngest child out of four. I had an older brother and an older sister, fraternal twins who were two years my senior. In addition, I had a younger brother only a year younger than me. Because of the small gaps in our ages, all of us siblings had been extremely close.

On the other hand…I was the only child of a middle-income family who had loved me dearly. I had no siblings, though I had always wanted an older brother. At eighteen, I was only a few months into my new life as an university student, and…


“Ah,” a young man walked into the room and immediately made a delighted expression. Walking over to me, he waved around a small staff before he began talking to an attentively-listening Edna…

And, I died, didn’t I? I couldn’t really remember the exact details, but I did remember the blaring horn that rippled through the air as a flood of white seared into my eyes. The university student who I had once been was no more, and only the youngest daughter of the Prime Minister was left.

My mother…my father…all my friends.

They were all gone now, right?





Ignoring the frantic questions from poor Edna, I buried my pounding head into my knees and cried.

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